The College of Arts and Architecture

Funding for Student Travel, Research, and Creative Activities

Application Process for Music Majors

The School of Music offers matching funds for various University and college grants as described below. Any music major (undergraduate and graduate) may make application. The approximate deadlines are listed below to help you in your planning. For full consideration, applications should be made at least 30 days prior to travel. If approved for support, students should contact the Administrative Assistant to the Director regarding reimbursement or direct billing of approved student travel expenses.

Summary of Grant Opportunities                                          

  • Undergraduate Research Conference Travel Support (rolling application)
  • A&A Opportunity Fund for Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities (rolling application)
  • Undergraduate Discovery Summer Grants (typically in February)
  • President’s Fund for Research (typically in November)
  • Graduate Student Support Grant (rolling application)
  • IAH Graduate Student Residencies (typically in February)

Undergraduate Support

► Research Conference Travel Support

Penn State undergraduates who are presenting the results of their research at professional conferences may request financial support to defray the costs of attendance at the conference. If the request is approved, the Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE), the A&A Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, and the School of Music (SoM) will each share 1/3 of the costs. If the student is enrolled in the Schreyer Honors College (SHC), the distribution will be 1/4 College, 1/4 (OUE), 1/4 (SoM), and 1/4 (SHC). The contribution from the Office of Undergraduate Education is capped at $300 per student, although in order to support the greatest number of students, the SoM contribution is generally limited to $100/student.

The application form, together with any supporting materials the student or mentor would like to include, should be submitted to the Director of the School of Music after the faculty mentor's approval has been obtained and at least thirty (30) days before the travel date.

Note: Multiple requests to attend the same conference should be submitted together (i.e. a student chamber ensemble that has received an invitation to perform at a conference). Typically, applicants submit a single Conference Travel Request form, including a combined budget and supporting faculty letter, with the names of student participants and their contact information as an attachment.

To request funding, download and complete the request form found at Research Opportunities for Undergraduates, secure the approval of the academic adviser/mentor, and submit materials to the Director of the School of Music, who will review and forward to the A&A Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Arts & Architecture Opportunity Fund for Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities

The Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Architecture is able to provide funds to support undergraduate research and creative activities. The purpose of these funds is to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to engage in research or creative activities related to their field of study and should be planned in close consultation with a faculty mentor in the student’s major field of study and supported by the faculty mentor on the Request for Funding form. For this form, please visit the college Undergraduate Studies page and click on the Opportunity Fund Guidelines and Application link.

These are supported by matching funds, with contributions coming 1/2 from the Office of the Dean and 1/2 from the student’s home department or school. This funding sets a cap of $300/student from the college; however, in order to support the greatest number of students, the SoM contribution is generally capped at $100/student. If the student is a Schreyer Honors student then s/he should apply for additional funding from the Schreyer Honors College.

There is a rolling deadline for application for these funds; hence students are encouraged to submit requests as early as possible in the academic year. Once these travel funds have been allocated for the academic year, there is no further funding available through this program. Students complete a funding request form and submit to their faculty mentor who signs the application and provides a statement of support. Group projects should be submitted as a single application. The materials are submitted for funding approval to the Director of the School of Music, who will forward the request to the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, 104 Borland Building.

Undergraduate Discovery Summer Grants

The Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) has created the Undergraduate Discovery Summer Grants program to help students take advantage of Penn State's research environment. See the OUE website for current information. The previous deadline was early February.

►President’s Fund for Research

Funds may also be available to support undergraduate research and creative activity from a special President’s Fund. Generally, a few grants in the range of $400-$500 are available annually to engage undergraduate students in research and creative activity. When available, the application deadline is normally in November. To apply, faculty submit one-page proposals and a budget to the Director who will review proposals, add comments of support, and forward to the College.


Graduate Student Support

The School of Music encourages its graduate students to seek opportunities that will support and enhance their professional development as musicians, educators, and scholars. When warranted and feasible, the School of Music, often with additional funds from the College of Arts and Architecture and/or the Graduate School, will try to support these types of activities. In recent years, funds have been requested for a range of activities, including:
  • travel for research (e.g. to consult materials in a library/archive, etc.)
  • travel to a professional meeting/conference/workshop;
  • travel to consult with specialists (e.g. scholars, coaches, etc.);
  • purchase of research materials (e.g. digital images) [musical scores, books, etc. should be requested through the Penn State Libraries].

School of Music graduate students who want to request funds to support research, creative activities, and/or professional travel should submit a Graduate Student Support Request Form. This form includes a “faculty sponsor” section that must be completed (confidentially) by the student’s faculty advisor or studio instructor. Forms should be submitted to Marica Tacconi, Associate Director, at mst4@psu.edu. They will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all funds are expended. It is important to keep in mind that funds are limited and thus granted on a competitive basis. Requests should be related to the student’s studies or have a direct/strong impact on his/her professional development. In recent years, allocations from the School of Music have typically been in the range of $50-$400 per request, with matching funds sometimes available from the College of Arts and Architecture.

When appropriate, the Associate Director will forward the application to the Office of the Associate Dean for Research, which might be in a position to allocate additional funds. Money is then transferred to the School of Music budget, and students may contact the Administrative Assistant to the Director regarding reimbursement or direct billing of student travel expenses.

Multiple requests to attend the same conference or professional meeting (for example, a student chamber ensemble that has received an invitation to perform at a conference) should be submitted together.

Institute for the Arts and Humanities Graduate Student Residencies

The Institute for the Arts and Humanities (IAH) offers a program of Graduate Student Residencies. It provides advanced students with a stipend and the use of an office in Ihlseng Cottage, enabling them to work on their theses, dissertations, or final creative projects. Up to eight graduate students are selected for semester-long residencies; up to four for summer residencies. Application deadlines are generally in mid-February for summer residencies and in April for semester-long residencies. For guidelines, please visit the IAH website.